Since the arrival of the toonie – named after the loonie which is the one dollar Canadian coin because of the resting loon on the obverse – the two dollar coin in Canadian circulation 1996, numismatists have been treated to a wonderful array of off center struck examples.
The error on a bimetallic coin – the first in Canadian coinage – has aesthetic appeal in design and size. Sometimes error coins are legitimate errors for collectors, though they are hardly dramatic in appearance or appeal. This coin has that dramatic appeal. When the two pieces to the coin are struck off center by 15-20% the results are stupefying! In fact, one wonders how such a coin could circulate for very long.
Its daily use and necessity in many transactions, especially the vending industry keeps many Canadians using it daily. It helps that Canada did away with the $1 and $2 bill prior to the release of the Toonie.This is a wonderful catalyst for future appreciation of the coin. Demand is soft right now.
The 1996 example, is the most commonly encountered with several hundred million examples struck. Even with so many struck, most collectors would not know that the Royal Canadian Mint has implemented a program to bring the earliest issues out of circulation and remelt them for future manufacture. Through the banks and various efforts, they are pulling many of those so common 1996 examples out of circulation to remelt into later year issues. Other examples such as the Boreal Forest and the Inuit Drummer are becoming even more less likely to be seen in circulation.
As a result of their large monetary value compared to quarters, nickels, and dimes I doubt nearly as many are being saved, aside from the 1996 issue for the novelty of owning the first one. They are also relatively new to the scene. Few Canadian collectors bother with them, choosing to collect the older denominations in the decimal series. Without a youth population to collect these many will go unwanted for the next couple of decades leaving prices low for a buyer’s market.
Right now there is a great opportunity to spot these in circulation but even if you are not patient enough to wait for examples to arise in the secondary market you can pick up a 10-15% off center toonie for $20-50 in extra fine or about uncirculated. Even dramatically off center examples, those which allow light through the exposed portion, are often cheaper than $100.
Later dates have a much smaller mintage but because of the high remelting efforts and few people saving them from pocket change, there is a great opportunity for appreciation in just about every date that features an off center error.
Finally, do not expect to find a financial windfall from those that are less than 5% off center. These examples are within the Royal Canadian Mint’s tolerance for quality control. They are not definable as errors by collectors as they have been inspected and deemed appropriate for circulation in spite of the slight off center core. These are in fact rather common to find.
This wonderful website highlights the different errors and does a wonderful job of confirming post-mint mutilation and hand-made errors that are not authentic.